Nelly in real mourning, and outlawed for debt—Death of Otway, tutor to her son—James II. pays her debts—The King's kindness occasions a groundless rumour that she has gone to mass—Her intimacy with Dr. Tenison, then Vicar of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, and Dr. Lower the celebrated physician—She sends for Tenison in her last illness—Her death and contrite end—Her will and last request of her son—Her funeral—Tenison preaches her funeral sermon—False account of the sermon cried by hawkers in the streets—The sermon used as an argument against Tenison's promotion to the see of Lincoln—Queen Mary's defence of him and of Nelly—Her son the Duke of St. Alban's—Eleanor Gwyn and Harriet Mellon—Various portraits of Nelly—Further anecdotes—Conclusion.
It was no fictitious mourning, for the Cham of Tartary or a Prince of France, which Nelly and the Duchess of Portsmouth were both wearing in the spring of 1685. Each had occasion, though on very unequal grounds, to lament the monarch so suddenly removed from his gorgeous chambers at Whitehall to the cold damp vaults of Westminster Abbey. It was at this period if not on other occasions, that Nelly must have called to mind Shirley's noble song, which old Bowman used to sing to King Charles:
The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate:
Death lays his icy hands on Kings.
Lely should have painted Nelly in her mourning; but the delicate hand which drew with so much grace the Beauties of King Charles the Second's Court, and Nelly with her lamb among them, was lying torpid under the church in Covent Garden, and the painters who succeeded him, Wissing, Kneller, and Verelst, had little skill in transferring from life to canvas those essential graces of expression which Lely caught so inimitably in his La Belle Hamilton and his Madame Gwyn.
While her grief was still fresh, Nelly had occasion to remember the friend she had lost. The King's mistresses, as Nelly herself informs us, were accounted but ill paymasters, for the King himself was often at a loss for money, and the ladies were, we may safely suppose, generally in advance of the allowances assigned them. The "gold stuff" was indeed scarcer than ever with her in the spring of the year in which the King died, and we know what became of at least some of her plate only a year before. "The bill is very dear," she says, "to boil the plate; but necessity hath no law." What was to be done? shopkeepers were pressing with their bills, and the apprentices who would at once have released "Protestant Nelly" from their own books had no control over those of their masters; so Nelly, if not actually arrested for debt in the spring of 1685, was certainly outlawed for the non-payment of certain bills, for which some of her trades-people, since the death of the King, had become perseveringly clamorous.
Nelly's resources at this period were slender enough. In the King's lifetime, and after Prince Rupert's death, she had paid to Peg Hughes the actress and her daughter Ruperta as much as 4520 l., "for the great pearl necklace" which she wears in so many of her portraits. This would now probably pass to the neck of another mistress (such is the lottery of life and jewels,)—perhaps to that of Katherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester; but Nelly would not care much about this: it went more to her heart to hear that during her own outlawry for debt her old friend Otway, the tutor of her son—the poet, whose writings she must have loved—had died of starvation, without a sympathising Nelly near at hand to relieve the wants in which she herself was now participating.
It was Nelly's good fortune, however, never to be without a friend willing and able to assist her. The new King had not forgotten the dying request of his only brother, "Let not poor Nelly starve:" above all he had not forgotten Nelly's conduct during that hard period of his life when the Bill of Exclusion was pushed in both houses with a warmth and animosity which argued indifferently for his obtaining the crown to which he was entitled. James, though in trouble himself—Monmouth had landed at Lyme, and the battle of Sedgemoor was not yet fought—found time in the midst of his anxieties to attend to his brother's last request; the secret service expenses of the King (only recently brought to light) exhibiting a payment to Richard Graham, Esq., of 729l. 2s. 3d. "to be by him paid over to the several tradesmen, creditors of Mrs. Ellen Gwyn, in satisfaction of their debts for which the said Ellen stood outlawed."
Nor was this the only way in which James exhibited his regard for Nelly, and his remembrance of a brother to whom he was sincerely attached. In the same year in which he relieved Nelly from her outlawry, two additional payments of 500l. each were made to her by way of royal bounty; and two years afterwards the same book of accounts records a payment to Sir Stephen Fox of 1256l. 0s. 2d. for so much by him paid to Sir Robert Clayton, the alderman and great city merchant, in full of 3774l. 2s. 6d. for redeeming the mortgages to Sir John Musters, of Beskwood Park, for settling the same for life upon Mrs. Ellen Gwyn, "and after her death upon the Duke of St. Alban's, and his issue male, with the reversion in the crown." Beskwood Park is in the county of Nottingham, on the borders of merry Sherwood, and was long an appurtenance to the Crown, eagerly sought for by royal favourites. Whether it remains in the possession of the present Duke of St. Alban's, as the descendant of Nelly, I am not aware.
James's kindness to Nelly, and his known design of reconciling the nation to the Church of Rome, gave rise to a rumour, perpetuated by Evelyn in his Memoirs, that she at this time. "was said to go to mass." He alludes to her conversion in the same brief entry with that of Dryden:—"such proselytes," he adds, "were of no great loss to the Church." The rumour as to her, however, was untrue. Nelly was firm to the Protestant religion—so firm indeed that her adherence to the faith of our fathers is one of the marked characteristics of her life.
Some strict disciplinarians of the Church will hear perhaps with a smile that Nell Gwyn was troubled at any time with a thought about religion. But their incredulity is uncharitable. Nelly doubtless had her moments of remorse; and, though her warmth in the cause of Protestantism may in the first instance have been strengthened by her hatred to the Duchess of Portsmouth, yet the kindly feeling avowed for her by Tenison, affords surely a strong presumption that her faith was unshaken and her repentance sincere.
It is much to be regretted that we know so little of the life of Archbishop Tenison. He seems to have risen into importance about the year 1680, when he was recommended by Tillotson to the vacant living of St. Martin's in the Fields, in London, then an extensive parish, where, as Baxter described it, "neighbours lived like Americans, without hearing a sermon for many years." Tenison filled his cure at St. Martin's with so much courage, toleration, and discretion in the worst days of the Church, that few, except the extreme partisans of popery, have been found to quarrel with his ministry. It was as Vicar of St. Martin's, in which parish Pall Mall is situated, that he became acquainted with Nell Gwyn,—perhaps, as I suspect in the first instance, through the instrumentality of Lower, then the most celebrated physician in London, Dr. Lower was a sturdy Protestant, and one, as King James was known to observe, "that did him more mischief than a troop of horse." He was often with Nelly, and, as Kennet had heard from Tenison's own lips, "would pick out of her all the intrigues of the Court of King Charles II." Nor was his faith questionable, evincing as he did his regard for the Reformation by the bequest of a thousand pounds to the French and Irish Protestants in or near London.
But the visits of Lower to Nelly were not for gossip only. She was now far from well, and her complaints were put into rhyme by the satirical pen of Sir George Etherege. There is, however, little wit in this instance, and just as little truth in the malice of the author of "The Man of Mode." One line, however, deserves to be recorded:
Send Dr. Burnet to me or I die.
It was time indeed for Nelly to send for some one. Burnet had attended Rochester, and Mrs. Roberts, and the Whig "martyr," William Lord Russell. Tenison had attended Thynne, Sir Thomas Armstrong, and the unhappy Monmouth. Tenison was sent for, and attended Nelly.
She now made her will, and to the following effect:—
In the name of God, Amen. I, Ellen Gwynne, of the parish of St. Martin-in-the-fields, and county of Middlesex, spinster, this 9th day of July, anno Domini 1687, do make this my last will and testament, and do revoke all former wills. First, in hope of a joyful resurrection, I do recommend myself whence I came, my soul into the hands of Almighty God, and my body unto the earth, to be decently buried, at the discretion of my executors, hereinafter named; and as for all such houses, lands, tenements, offices, places, pensions, annuities, and hereditaments whatsoever, in England, Ireland, or elsewhere, wherein I, or my heirs, or any to the use of, or in trust for me or my heirs, hath, have, or may or ought to have, any estate, right, claim or demand whatsoever, of fee-simple or freehold, I give and devise the same all and wholly to my dear natural son, his Grace the Duke of St. Alban's, and to the heirs of his body; and as for all and all manner of my jewels, plate, household stuff, goods, chattels, credits, and other estate whatsoever, I give and bequeath the same, and every part and parcel thereof, to my executors hereafter named, in, upon, and by way of trust for my said dear son, his executors, administrators, and assigns, and to and for his and their own sole use and peculiar benefit and advantage, in such manner as is hereafter expressed; and I do hereby constitute the Right Hon. Lawrence Earl of Rochester, the Right Hon. Thomas Earl of Pembroke, the Hon. Sir Robert Sawyer, Knight, his Majesty's Attorney General, and the Hon. Henry Sidney, Esq., to be my executors of this my last will and testament, desiring them to please to accept and undertake the execution hereof, in trust as afore-mentioned; and I do give and bequeath to the several persons in the schedule hereunto annexed the several legacies and sums of money therein expressed or mentioned; and my further will and mind, and anything above notwithstanding, is, that if my said dear son happen to depart this natural life without issue then living, or such issue die without issue, then and in such case, all and all manner of my estate above devised to him, and in case my said natural son die before the age of one-and-twenty years, then also all my personal estate devised to my said executors not before then by my said dear son and his issue, and my said executors, and the
executors or administrators of the survivor of them, or by some of
them otherwise lawfully and firmly devised or disposed of, shall
remain, go, or be to my said executors, their heirs, executors, and
administrators respectively, in trust of and for answering, paying, and satisfying all and every and all manners of my gifts, legacies, and directions that at any time hereafter, during my life, shall be by me anywise mentioned or given in or by any codicils or schedule to be hereto annexed. And lastly, that my said executors shall have, all and every of them, 100l. a-piece, of lawful money, in consideration of their care and trouble herein, and furthermore, all their several and respective expenses and charges in and about the execution of this my will. In witness of all which, I hereunto set my hand and seal, the day and year first above written.
Signed, sealed, published and declared, in the presence of us, who at the same time subscribe our names, also in her presence.
Lucy Hamilton Sandys,
The last request of Mrs. Ellenr Gwynn to his Grace the Duke of St. Alban's, made October the 18th, 1687.
1. I desire I may be buried in the church. of St. Martin's-in-the fields.
2. That Dr. Tenison may preach my funeral sermon.
3. That there may be a decent pulpit-cloth and cushion given to St. Martin's-in-the-fields.
4. That he [the Duke] would give one hundred pounds for the use of the poor of the said St. Martin's and St. James's, Westminster, to be given into the hands of the said Dr. Tenison, to be disposed of at his discretion, for taking any poor debtors of the said parish out of prison, and for cloaths this winter, and other necessaries, as he shall find most fit.
5. That for showing my charity to those who differ from me in religion, I desire that fifty pounds may be put into the hands of Dr. Tenison and Mr. Warner, who, taking to them any two persons of the Roman Religion, may dispose of it for the use of the poor of that religion inhabiting the parish of St. James's aforesaid.
6. That Mrs. Rose Forster may have two hundred pounds given to her, any time within a year after my decease.
7. That Jo., my porter, may have ten pounds given him.
My request to his Grace is, further—
8. That my present nurses may have ten pounds each, and mourning, besides their wages due to them.
9. That my present servants may have mourning each, and a year's wages, besides their wages due.
10. That the Lady Fairborne may have fifty pounds given to her to buy a ring.
11. That my kinsman, Mr. Cholmley, may have one hundred pounds given to him, within a year after this date.
12. That his Grace would please to lay out twenty pounds yearly for the releasing of poor debtors out of prison, every Christmas-day.
13. That Mr. John Warner may have fifty pounds given him to buy a ring.
14. That the Lady Hollyman may have the pension of ten shillings per week continued to her during the said lady's life.
Oct. 18, -87.—This request was attested and acknowledged, in the presence of us,
She died of apoplexy in November, 1687, in her thirty-eighth year, but the exact day is unknown. "Her repentance in her last hours, I have been unquestionably informed," writes Cibber, "appeared in all the contrite symptoms of a Christian sincerity." "She is said to have died piously and penitently," writes Wigmore to Sir George Etherege, then Envoy at Ratisbon, "and, as she dispensed several charities in her lifetime, so she left several such legacies at her death." The bequest to the poor prisoners may receive some illustration from the satires of the time. Her father is said to have died in a prison at Oxford—and Nelly, it is added, "gloried" in relieving the necessities of the poorer prisoners.
On the night of the 17th November, 1687, the orange girl in the playhouse pit—the pretty witty Nelly of Pepys—and the Almahide of Dryden's play and King Charles's admiration, was buried, according to her own request, in the church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. There was no great ostentation on the occasion, considering the style in which funerals were then usually conducted; the expenses of her interment, £375, were advanced by Sir Stephen Fox, from the next quarter's allowance of £1500 a year, which King James had settled upon her. Good Dr. Tenison too complied with her request, and preached her funeral sermon; but what the Doctor said—except that he said "much to her praise"—no one has told us. The church was doubtless crowded—all the apprentices who could obtain leave from their masters for such a lesson were there, and perhaps many a wet eye was seen,—for Nelly was a good subject, and the then vicar of St. Martin's was an impressive preacher.
It was bold in Tenison to preach such a sermon, and on such a person; but he knew the worth of Nelly and was not afraid. He escaped not, however, without censure. Some mercenary people printed and employed hawkers to cry in the streets a sham, or largely transmogrified discourse which the vicar himself was obliged to denounce as a "forgery." Others went further; and when in 1691 the see of Lincoln was vacant, and Tenison was all but appointed to it, Viscount Villiers, afterwards the first Earl of Jersey, in his zeal for the rector of the parish of St. Giles's-in-the-Fields, immediately adjoining St. Martin's, made it a reason to Queen Mary for the exclusion of the honest Doctor that he had preached "a notable funeral sermon in praise of Ellen Gwyn." But the daughter of King James, and the wife of King William, who had her own channels of information, was not to be led aside from what she knew was right by so weak a complaint, though advanced by a highly-favoured servant of her own. "I have heard as much," said the good Queen Mary to her Master of the Horse, "and this is a sign that the poor unfortunate woman died penitent; for, if I have read a man's heart through his looks, had she not made a truly pious end, the Doctor could never have been induced to speak well of her." I need hardly add that Tenison obtained the see, and that he lived to fill with honour to himself and service to the Church the more important office of Archbishop of Canterbury. It may, however, be new to some that in his own will he strictly forbids either funeral sermon or oration at his own interment. There is satire in this. To have praised even Tenison might by some courtier or another have been made a barrier to the promotion of an able and perhaps better deserving person.
The son acceded to the dying requests of his mother by the following memorandum beneath the codicil:—
Dec. 5, 1687.—I doe consent that this paper of request may be made a codicil to Mrs. Gwinn's will.
King James continued the mother's pension to the son, and in the same month in which his mother died gave him the colonelcy of that regiment of horse from which Lord Scarsdale had been dismissed, for his opposition to the well-known designs of King James.
While still young he distinguished himself at the siege of Belgrade, became in after-life a Knight of the Garter, and died the father of eight sons by his wife, the high-born and wealthy heiress, Lady Diana de Vere, a beauty included—as I have already observed,—in the Kneller collection at Hampton Court. He died intestate in 1726. His widow survived till 1742. The title still exists—and has been in our own time rather conspicuously before the public from the enormous wealth of the late Harriet, Duchess of St. Alban's, widow of Coutts the banker, but originally known, and favourably too, upon the comic boards. Not unlike in many points were Eleanor Gwyn and Harriet Mellon. The fathers of both were in the army, and both never knew what it was to have a father. Both rose by the stage,—both had wealthy admirers—and both were charitable and generous. Here, however, the parallel ceases. Harriet was no wit,—nor, with all respect for Mr. Coutts's taste, can we well believe that she ever had been a beauty.
There are many portraits of Nell Gwyn—few heads of her time make a more profitable traffic among dealers. Yet very few are genuine. She sat to Lely, to Cooper, and to Gascar. An "unfinished" portrait of her was sold at Sir Peter Lely's sale to Hugh May, for £25. No. 306 of King James II.'s pictures was "Madam Gwyn's picture, naked, with a Cupid," done by Lely, and concealed by a "sliding piece," a copy by Danckers of the Countess of Dorset, by Van Dyck. Among the pictures "of Mr. Lely's doing" which Mrs. Beale, the painter, saw at Bap. May's lodgings at Whitehall, in April 1677, was "Mrs. Gwyn, with a lamb, half-length." "Some years since," says Tom Davies, writing in 1784, "I saw at Mr. Berenger's house in the Mews a picture of Nell Gwyn, said to have been drawn by Sir Peter Lely; she appeared to have been extremely attractive."
With the single exception of a too grave and thoughtful picture in the Lely room at Hampton Court, there is not a single picture of Nelly in any of the royal collections. When Queen Charlotte was asked whether she recollected a famous picture of Nell Gwyn, known to have existed in the Windsor gallery, and which Her Majesty herself was suspected of having removed, she replied at once "that most assuredly since she had resided at Windsor there had been no Nell Gwyn there."
A full-length portrait of her, in a yellow and blue dress, and black-brown hair, fetched at the Stowe sale 100 guineas, and has been engraved. At Goodwood is a full-length of her, neither clever nor like. Other portraits of her are to be seen at Elvaston, (Lord Harrington's); at Althorp, (Lord Spencer's); at Welbeck, (the Duke of Portland's), in water colours, with her two children; at Sudbury, (Lord Vernon's); and at Oakley Grove, Cirencester, (Lord Bathurst's). That curious inquirer Sir William Musgrave had seen portraits of her at Smeton and at Lord Portmore's at Weybridge. At the Garrick Club is a namby-pamby and pretty small portrait called Nell Gwyn, but surely not Nelly. Marshall Grosvenor had the fine portrait with the lamb, once belonging to the St. Alban's family, and since so finely engraved for Mrs. Jameson's Beauties. "The turn of the neck," says Mrs. Jameson, "and the air of the head, are full of grace and character, and the whole picture, though a little injured by time, is exquisitely painted." A duplicate of this is at Goodrich Court—one of the acquisitions of Sir Samuel Meyrick—the petticoat is of a pink or carmine colour. The portrait at Drayton Manor, bought by the late Sir Robert Peel, is also the same as the Grosvenor picture, except that the lamb is omitted. At Mr. Bernal's, in Eaton Square, is a clever copy of the time, after Lely; and among the miniatures of the Duke of Buccleuch is her head by Cooper, for which it is said the Exchequer papers record the price paid to that painter.
Of the early engravings from her portraits, the best are by Gerard Valck, the brother-in-law of Blooteling. Valck was a contemporary of Nell Gwyn, and fine impressions of his Lely engraving realise high prices; but the print of her which collectors are most curious about is that after Gascar, evidently engraved abroad,—it is thought by Masson, in which she is represented covered by the famous laced chemise, lying on a bed of roses, from which her two children, as Cupids, are withdrawing the curtains—King Charles II. in the distance. She wears as well the famous Rupert necklace of pearls. The Stowe impression—the last sold—brought eight guineas. The Burney copy, now in the British Museum, cost Dr. Burney at Sir Egerton Brydges's sale £39 18s. In all her pictures we have what Ben Jonson so much admires—
Hair loosely flowing, robes as free.
But few—the Lely with the lamb excepted—render justice to those charms of face and figure which her contemporaries loved to admire, and which Lely alone had the skill to transfer even in part to canvas.
Relics of Nelly are of rare occurrence. A warming-pan said to have been in her possession with, for motto, the slightly modified text, "Fear God and serve the King," was in existence at the close of the last century. A looking-glass of great elegance of form, and with a handsomely carved frame with figures, lately, if not still, in the collection of Sir Page Dicks of Port Hall, is said on good authority to have belonged to her. The bills of her household and other expenses, from which I have derived some particulars, are characteristic memorials of her in another way.
Till the recent sale of the mutilated Exchequer papers her autograph was not known to exist. She could not sign her name, and was content with an E. G.—many with better opportunities could do no more—dotted at the commencement and termination of each letter, as if she was at a loss where to begin and how to leave off. Not more than ten or twelve of her signatures are known, and these when they have occurred for sale have sold at prices varying from two guineas and a half to three guineas each.
On looking back at what I have written of this Story, I see little to omit or add—unless I wander into the satires of the time, and poison my pages with the gross libels of an age of lampoons. Not to have occasioned one satire or even more, would have been to say little for the reputation (of any kind) of a lady who lived within the atmosphere of Whitehall. Like her—
Who miss'd her name in a lampoon,
And sigh'd—to find herself decay'd so soon—
Nelly did not escape, and, though the subject of some very gross satires, she had this consolation, if she heeded them at all, that there were others who fared still worse, and perhaps deserved better. Yet it would be wrong to close any sketch of her life without mentioning the present of the large Bible which she made to Oliver Cromwell's porter, when a prisoner in Bedlam,—often referred to by the writers of her age; her paying the debt of a worthy clergyman whom, as she was going through the city, she saw bailiffs hurrying to prison; or her present to Pat O'Bryan, so characteristically related in the following quotation:—
"Afterwards Pat O'Bryan, scorning to rob on foot, he would become an absolute highway-man, by robbing on horseback. The first prey he met was Nell Gwyn; and stopping her coach on the road to Winchester, quoth he, 'Madam, I am, by my salvashion, a fery good shentleman, and near relation to his Majesty's Grash the Duke of Ormond; but being in want of money, and knowing you to be a sharitable w—— I hope you will give me shomething after I've took all you have away.' Honest Nell, seeing the simplicity of the fellow, and laughing heartily at his bull, gave him ten guineas, with which Teague rid away, without doing any further damage."
Anecdotes of this sort, though perhaps only coloured with truth, are not to be made light of by biographers. They show the general appreciation at the time of the individuals to whom they relate. There is not a story told of Nelly in the commonest chap book or jest book, published while her memory was yet fresh among the children to whose fathers and mothers she was known, but what evinces either harmless humour or a sympathising heart. No wonder, then, that there is still an odd fascination about her name, and that Granger's sentence "Whatever she did became her"—is at least as worthy of credit as Burnet's in calling her "the indiscreetest and wildest creature that ever was in a court."
The true apology for this Story and for Nell Gwyn is to be found in Cibber's defence of his own conduct, where, when speaking of Nelly, he observes: "If the common fame of her may be believed, which in my memory was not doubted, she had less to be laid to her charge than any other of those ladies who were in the same state of preferment. She never meddled in matters of any serious moment, or was the tool of working politicians. Never broke into those amorous infidelities which others are accused of; but was as visibly distinguished by her particular personal inclination for the king as her rivals were by their titles and grandeur."
Another, if another is wanting, may be found in a far graver author, Sir Thomas More. "I doubt not,"—says that great and good man,—"that some shall think this woman (he is writing of Jane Shore) too slight a thing to be written of and set among the remembrances of great matters; but meseemeth" he adds, "the chance worthy to be remembered—for, where the King took displeasure she would mitigate and appease his mind; where men were out of favour she would bring them in his grace; for many that had highly offended she obtained pardon; of great forfeitures she gat men remission; and finally, in many weighty suits she stood more in great stead."—Wise and virtuous Thomas More,—pious and manly Thomas Tenison,—pretty and witty—and surely with much that was good in her—Eleanor Gwyn.*
Note.—I have great pleasure in extracting the following defence of Nelly from the preface to Douglas Jerrold's drama of "Nell Gwyn, or the Prologue," a capitally constructed piece, and one true throughout to its heroine and the manners of the age in which Nelly lived:—"Whilst we may safely reject as unfounded gossip many of the stories associated with the name of Nell Gwyn, we cannot refuse belief to the various proofs of kind-heartedness, liberality, and—taking into consideration her subsequent power to do harm—absolute goodness of a woman mingling (if we may believe a passage in Pepys) from her earliest years in the most depraved scenes of a most dissolute age. The life of Nell Gwyn, from the time of her connexion with Charles II. to that of her death, proved that error had been forced upon her by circumstances, rather than indulged from choice. It was under this impression that the present little comedy was undertaken: under this conviction an attempt has been made to show some glimpses of the 'silver lining’ of a character, to whose influence over an unprincipled voluptuary we owe a national asylum for veteran soldiers, and whose brightness shines with the most amiable lustre in many actions of her life, and in the last disposal of her worldly effects."
Old Church of St. Martin's in the Fields, in which Nelly was buried.
- Warburton's Prince Rupert, iii. 558.
- Otway died 14 April, 1685. He dedicated his "Venice Preserved" to the Duchess of Portsmouth.
- Secret Service Expenses of Charles II. and James II. (printed for the Camden Society), p. 109.
- Secret Service Expenses, p.167.
- Evelyn, 19 January, 1685-6.
- Compare Burnet in his History with Lord Dartmouth's Notes, and Burnet's own account of Tenison to King William in Romney's Diary, ii. 283. See also Evelyn's Memoirs for a high character of Tenison.
- Burnet, ii. 284, ed. 1823.
- Kennet's note in Wood's Ath. Ox., ed. Bliss, iv. 299.
- The will was proved, Dec. 7, at the Prerogative Will office in Doctors' Commons, and the original on the 18th of February following delivered to Sir Robert Sawyer, one of the executors.
- Letter of 22 March, 1687, in Ellis's Correspondence, i. 264: "Mrs. Nelly is dying of an apoplexy."
- Cibber's Apology, p. 451, ed. 1740. Letter of 18 Nov. 1687, in Seward's Anecdotes. Her wealth in the letter is stated at a million!
- Secret Service Expenses of Charles II., and James II., p. 177.
- Advertisement.—Whereas there has been a paper cry'd by some hawkers, as a sermon preached by D. T. at the funeral of M. E. Gwynn, this may certify, that that paper is the forgery of some mercenary people.—Mr. Fulton considered by Tho. Tenison, D.D. 4to. 1687.
- Life of Tenison, p. 20. Lord Jersey should have recollected that the father of his own wife was no less a person than the infamous Will. Chiffinch.
- Letter from Atterbury, dated Covent Garden, Dec. 1. 1687. Nichols's Atterbury, Vol. i. p. 1.
- Accounts of Roger North, the executor of Lely. Addit. MS. in Brit. Mus. 16,174.
- Harl. MS. 1890, compare Walpole's edit. Dallaway, iii. 58. There is a unique print of this in the Burney Collection in the British Museum.
- Walpole by Dallaway, iii. 140.
- Davies's Dramatic Miscellanies, iii. 269.
- Mrs. Jameson's Preface to Beauties of the Court of King Charles II.
- Mrs. Jameson's Private Picture Galleries, p. 375.
- For her bust or effigy at Bagnigge Wells see Waldron's ed. of Downes, p. 16, and Gent. Mag. for June, 1835, p. 562. I do not believe in the straight-armed portrait engraved by Van Bleeck and now in Mr. Bernal’s possession.
- Wycherley has "A Song: upon a vain foolish Coxcomb, who was banish'd the Court, for owning a witty Libel written by another."—Poems, 1704, p. 319.
- Granger, iv. 210 and 188. "Like Oliver's porter, but not be devout," is a line in D'Urfey's Prologue to Sir Barnaby Whigg, 1681.
- Capt. Alexander Smith's Lives of Highwaymen, London, 1719, vol. i. p. 260.
- Burnet, i. 457, ed. 1823.
- Cibber's Apology, p. 450, ed. 1740.